I know, we’ve all been there. It’s the end of the semester and students suddenly realize your late work policy, your attendance policy or your quality work policy. I’ve actually talked to students about this and they cite reasons such as:
- It’s just like every other syllabus they’ve read
- It’s too long
- It doesn’t apply to me
- I never really look at it until I have a bad grade
Like it or not, our students these days are just as distracted as we are. They simply do not take the time to read the syllabus. So, this term, I thought about why that might be.
It turns out, I am just as guilty as they are. I don’t thoroughly review the credit terms on my credit cards or the terms of agreement when I buy a song from Apple. Why should I? They all read the same. It’s blah, blah, blah.
Well, this term, I decided to up my game and get my syllabus up with the times. I created an Infogragraphic version of my syllabus. I actually decided to upload that image directly to Blackboard so it is the first thing students see.
I made a list of all the things students seemed to forget about my class (attendance policy, plagiarism policy, late work policy). I then took all of these frustrations and put them in beautiful, colorful visuals so they would actually look at them.
Piktochart is a free site that allows you to create professional looking infographics for any purpose. I made an infographic for my Introduction to Entrepreneurship course so the students understand where the course will lead them. It has been the most successful by far. A thumbnail of the syllabus is shown on the left. You can see the full infographic here: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/4103252-mgmt-450-v1
Whether this visual tool is used for a class project or an overall class syllabus, the students’ response has been tremendous. For the first time, I’ve had students send me emails that they are aware of the class policies!